Did you build some muscle and now decided to burn fat? Did they tell you to change workout routine and start doing high reps and low weights to tone, and hours of cardio every week?
Ok, don't be offended, but that's all BS!
That's certainly a great way to lose weight, don't get me wrong, but
Lose weight means lose fat and muscle too
...and if you spent months or years to build that muscle, you don't want to burn it while trying to burn fat, do you?
Can I Burn Fat Only???
Hell yes! You can, it's not easy but you can, and despite what personal trainers suggest, the solution is not spending hours on treadmills ellipticals or exercise bikes.
It's proven, and not everybody knows it, that
when you do lots of cardio you burn fat for sure
but the downside is that unfortunately you burn muscle too
So you will lose fat, lose muscle, and eventually get smaller. Have you ever noticed that resistance runners (those that run marathons) are always skinny?
It's physically impossible to maintain all your muscle if you do resistance training such as cardio, especially if combined with a workout routine composed of high reps and lower weights.
For our purpose that is a NO GO!
Keep Lifting Heavy Weights
If you want to burn fat you have to change your life style and consider some factors:
- Reduce your calorie intake
- High protein/low carbs diet
- Lift heavy weights
- Do SOME cardio
That's right, quite a bit different from what we usually hear, right?
As there is no way to gain weight if you don't consume more calorie than you burn, the vice versa is true if you want to burn fat. Remember the equation:
Calorie Intake < Calorie Burned = Fat Loss
Try reducing your calories every day, start with 250 calorie/day and if you're not satisfied, lower your calorie even more, but slowly.
High Protein/Low Carbs/Fats Diet
Watch what you eat. Carbs are the main fuel for our body.
Your body burns carbs before burning the fat reserve. If you lower carbs you have more chances to burn fat faster.
At the same time you want to build or at least preserve muscle, so high protein will compensate the low carbs intake.
Lift Heavy Weights
Ok this is the important part. Even if your diet was only protein based, you can't build or preserve muscle if you don't work out. If you want to burn fat and keep the muscle and finally have that bodybuilder body shape, you have to tell your body that you really need that muscle.
If you do high reps you have to lower the weights. But that way your body is trained for resistance, endurance, not strength. Therefore it doesn't need to retain the muscle mass to be resistant.
If you lift heavy weights your body knows that it can't burn muscle, otherwise the next time it'll be unprepared to the stress when it has to lift those weights again.
The problem that you will have to face is that
It's hard to lift heavy weights when you lower your calories (which means less energy)
I know, but that's the key. That's why you don't dramatically lower your calories, and increase protein at the same time. But that's the key man, I agree that you can't move up with weights, but do your best to lift AT LEAST the same weights every time you hit the gym.
Do Some Cardio
I said some cardio, not hours of cardio. I'd say 20/30 minutes max when you go to the gym, and AFTER workout.
Don't do cardio before workout, otherwise you burn your energies for that and you struggle when it's time to lift weights.
Save your energies for your workout, and then do some cardio to burn fat reserve.
To be honest, you don't have to do cardio. Reducing calories, changing diet and lifting weights is enough to burn fat.
But your heart is the most important muscle and it's important to train that too. Some cardio will just make you burn fat faster, but too much cardio will make you burn muscle too even if you lift heavy weights (you won't just be able to lift them any more pretty soon).
Choose the cardio machine that you prefer, treadmill, elliptical, stepper, exercise bike ect are all good with different characteristics and time required to see results. You can read Elliptical or Exercise Bike: Which One is Best? to help you find the best fit for you.
I really hope this helped you burn fat and preserve your muscle, it works for me...spread the word!